According to a circular issued by the Ministry of Education and Hainan’s provincial government, world-class overseas universities are being invited to run schools in cooperation with Chinese institutions or establish independent educational services of their own in Hainan province on a pilot basis.
According to the report, the country will target the tropical island for international education innovation, educational reform and further open the sector to make Hainan an example of open and innovative development of the educational sector.
Hainan will be a national pilot area where a new, open system for running schools will be set up, in addition to a joint examination and approval mechanism for overseas joint ventures and cooperation projects, the circular said.
It added that as long as risks are controlled, the island province will be encouraged to set up international high schools and kindergartens on a pilot basis to implement international education.
The document also noted that when conditions mature, overseas engineering universities and vocational colleges will be allowed to run pilot schools independently in Hainan, which will also explore allowing leading overseas business conglomerates to develop educational services on their own.
The new policy also gives a green light to overseas institutions to establish independent Sino-foreign medical and health services in Hainan, according to the circular.
The pilot plan also aims to encourage leading Chinese and foreign institutions of higher learning and scientific research centers to develop a cluster of higher learning institutions and synergetic platforms which will integrate production, teaching and scientific research in Hainan.
The new policy encourages all social sectors to participate in running schools by means of contribution of capital, knowledge, technology and management, and says they will enjoy corresponding rights.
“The new policy, which is very open, bold and unique to Hainan, will create great opportunities for farsighted international education investors,” commented Wang Lin, dean of the International Tourism College, a joint venture between Hainan University and Arizona State University in the United States.